sweet f.a.

francesca alva's adventures in the metaverse

Toussaint l’Ouverture Library Exhibit

Our librarian, Miss GallateaSu Beaumont (and her krewe),  has created a wonderful exhibit about Hurricane Katrina. There are photographs, bibliographies, clickable links to pertinent articles, including this from Anne Rice in September 2005.

The first of the photographs shows the exhibit; the second the library prepared for the storm. Note how the second shot is carefully angled to give a good view of my build to the left.

The aforementioned build to the left is my bookshop. Among other titles featured there is Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza*, an examination of New Orleans post-Katrina:

And what about New Orleans? What is the future of the culture that came from all those neighbourhoods with their own sense of being, formed over decades  and decades, where parents and grandparents and great-grandparents had lived? Former first lady Barbara Bush … [said], “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.” How could they possebly miss a place where they were, you know, underprivileged?

How could they miss a place where they knew everyone on the block? … How could they miss a place where there was music all the time, and where they could sit out in the evening on their front steps talking to people they had known for years, and joking in a way that everyone understood, or where their son had gotten dressed in his high school band uniform that they had saved hard-earned money ot buy, and then went out to play in the band for the Mardi Gras parade? How could they miss the place where their granddaughter took her first steps, or their father had kept his uniform from World War Two in a cardboard suitcase lined with newspaper?

… The “underprivileged” people of New Orleans spun a culture out of their lives – a music, a cuisine, a sense of life – that has been recognised around the world as a transforming spiritual force. Out of those pitifully small incomes and crumbling house, and hard, long days and nights of work came a staggering Yes, an affirmation of life – their lives, Life itself – in defiance of a world that told them in as many ways as it could find that they were, you know, dispensable.

…They are not dispensable. Not to New Orleans, not to America. And any scenario of a rebuilt New Orleans that does not embrace the fact of their centrality to New Orleans, that does not find a way to welcome them back and make jobs and a new life for them, will be an obscenity.

*I had entertained the hope that Mr Piazza was somehow related to the Countess Willie V Piazza of Storyville fame, but sadly it would appear not, as he is a New Yorker by birth

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Wednesday, 1 September 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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